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Author: Subject: Not Frankenstein's dead body parts, rather scientists 'successfully' GROW new leg on rat
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[*] posted on 6.5.2015 at 11:08 PM
Not Frankenstein's dead body parts, rather scientists 'successfully' GROW new leg on rat

A team of scientists in Boston has given one rat a second chance at walking.

Doctors from Massachusetts General Hospital have created what they're calling the first lab-grown replacement limb. And the key might have been a fancy type of detergent:

First, all donor cells were stripped with a detergent from the donor leg, leaving just the underlying structure of bones, ligaments and hollowed-out blood vessels, called the scaffolding. Then, the rat's own stem cells were added back in to regenerate veins and arteries and jump-start the formation of muscle. Muscle cells were grown further through electrical stimulation. [CBS News]

Once the muscles were fully grown, the researchers attached the limb onto the lucky rat, whose body accepted the transplant without incident. The process is described in full at the journal Biomaterials.

While the rat's surgery could bring scientists one step closer to performing similar operations on human patients, Dr. Steven Badylak, deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, cautioned it will likely be more than a decade, at the earliest.

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